RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has given Dustin Martin his blessing if the Tigers superstar wants to leave the Melbourne fishbowl.

The three-time Norm Smith medallist is two games back from his six-week break due to personal reasons.

Martin took a leave of absence from Richmond after the Tigers' round-one loss against Carlton as he continues to grieve the death of his father last December.

Rumours have floated around about the 30-year-old wanting to live a more private life outside an AFL-obsessed state and move to Sydney.

EVERY INDIGENOUS JUMPER Vote on your favourite

Hardwick on Tuesday addressed the possibility of Martin finishing his illustrious 263-game career away from Punt Rd.

04:33 Mins
Published on

Footy Feed: Dimma's Dusty blessing, dire Dons, scary Lions

Sarah Olle with the latest footy news

Published on

"He's a very important player to our footy club, on the field and off the field," Hardwick said ahead of Richmond's Dreamtime at the 'G blockbuster against Essendon.

"What he gives us, he's paid us in spades.

"Whatever Dustin's decision is moving forward is up to Dustin and to be honest he has my blessing.

00:55 Mins
Published on

Dusty kicks outrageous goal from the pocket as MCG erupts

Dustin Martin kicks a spectacular goal from a tight angle against the Hawks

Published on

"What he's given me, us, our fans, he has been incredible and whatever we get from here on in is a bonus.

"I'm just lucky I get to see him on a weekly basis perform and train the way he does.

"He was a bit sore last week, he'd never put up his hand and say he was a little bit underdone.

"He's a required Richmond player and a very important Richmond player."

Dustin Martin celebrates a goal during Richmond's win over Hawthorn in round nine, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Hardwick hailed Martin's influence in victories over Collingwood and Hawthorn as the Brownlow medallist played mainly as a forward.

"The way this guy prepares physically and mentally is first class, it's what the great ones do," Hardwick said.

"There's no coincidence the work he puts in gets rewarded with his on-field performances.

"Even after [Tuesday's training] session, he's doing extra running because that's the sort of performer he is.

Dustin Martin celebrates a goal during Richmond's clash with Collingwood in round eight, 2022. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

"We use him as an example for our young blokes, 'Listen, you want to reach that level, first of all good luck but this is how you go about it.'"

Martin was drafted by Richmond in 2009 and has become one of the all-time greats, spearheading the Tigers to premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020.